Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman at The Late Show - 5 Burning Questions Answered

Stephen ColbertNation, get ready for a whole different Stephen Colbert.

The Colbert Report host has been tapped to fill David Letterman’s Late Show seat when Letterman retires next year, CBS announced Thursday.

VIDEO | David Letterman Announces Retirement

The announcement begs several questions, including:

WHEN WILL HE START? | The Comedy Central host signed a five-year agreement with the Eye Network; his first day at Late Show will be determined once Letterman nails down his final broadcast schedule.

WILL COLBERT STAY IN NEW YORK? | In a press release, CBS noted that certain details about Colbert’s Late Show — such as its production team and location — will be determined at a later date.

WILL HE HOST AS HIMSELF OR AS A CHARACTER (A LA THE COLBERT REPORT)? | Colbert confirmed that he will not do The Late Show in his ultra-conservative Colbert Report persona. “I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to see how much of him was me,” he told The New York Times’ Bill Carter on Thursday. “I’m looking forward to it.”

DOES THIS MEAN THE COLBERT REPORT IS DONE? | Shortly after CBS’ announcement, Comedy Central released a statement hinting that The Colbert Report will stop production when Colbert leaves.

“Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades,” the network said. “We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best.”

WHAT DOES LETTERMAN THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS? | The outgoing Late Show host was quick to give Colbert his official stamp of approval.

“Stephen has always been a real friend to me,” Letterman said in a statement. “I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”

PHOTOS | David Letterman Retires: 13 Possible Replacements

“Simply being a guest on Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert, who has sat on the Late Show couch 12 times, said in a statement. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

He added: “I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

PHOTOS | 10 Things We Absolutely Hated About Jimmy Fallon’s Historic Tonight Show Debut

Colbert’s appointment is the latest in a recent series of big late-night changes that includes Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show takeover and Seth Meyers’ move from Saturday Night Live to the Late Show

Jon Stewart, on whose Daily Show Colbert made a name for himself as a correspondent, told Vulture on Thursday that his friend and colleague would be a “remarkable” fit for the CBS chat fest.

“He’s wonderful in Colbert Report, but he’s got gears he hasn’t even shown people yet,” Stewart said.


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  1. Television Scout says:

    What happens now to WWPants Productions? Does anyone out there know how many years are left on Craig Ferguson’s contract? I read recently that CF had stipulated in his contract that he would get a one time bonus if he didn’t get the Late Show gig.

  2. JoshW says:

    Not cool. Colbert report is one of the best shows on comedy central. Not happy to see him go. Would much rather just see colbert report become the new late show on cbs.

  3. Terry says:

    Very disappointed in the choice, I was hoping for Howard Stern or at least give Craig a shot at it. Don’t find Colbert funny in the least.

  4. TV Gord says:

    Circle May 22nd, 2015, on your calendar. I think that will be the date of Dave’s last show. It’s a Friday night, and I don’t think he could resist leaving on the anniversary of Johnny’s departure from late night. Plus, it takes the final week of shows right up to the end of sweeps (and a couple of days beyond).

  5. JenInChicago says:

    One wonders if a woman was even considered at all.

    • Tookie Clothespin says:

      Probably not. I ask this with respect but, what woman would want to give the job to? The only one that I could think of would be Chelsea Handler but, I know plenty of people, myself included, that can only take her in very small doses. CBS was looking for somebody that was smart, famous, funny, with a little edge but, not too edgy. I honestly cannot think of one woman that would fit the bill. The only ones that I could think of that are smart and famous enough aren’t funny enough or smart, famous, and funny enough but are way too vulgar for this type of format.

  6. Sherly says:

    I don’t watch Fallon and won’t be watching Colbert for sure.

  7. Well that’ll mix things up. Hopefully we’ll get an answer on if Craig passed on any offers because if would be nuts of Letterman didn’t at least push for the guy who followed him to be offered it. I mean I’m very, very interested to see how Colbert will pull this off, and I’m pretty confident he can. Also nice to see a guy Dave’s known to have liked book the gig.

    People wondering about Chelsea Handler, is it possible she’ll end up on Comedy Central?

    Also a bit sad, like most times, that we’re not breaking new ground with, say, a woman (I’m not Handler fan mind but there had to be other options) at the very least take over the Late Late Show if Craig moved up. Still getting a guy with an established fan base whose popularity and influence are probably not well-represented by his actual viewing figures (I believe he usually gets between 1.5 and 2 million?) is ultimately probably a good move, yet by also signing a guy who plays a parody character on his show they’re still taking something of a risk. Colbert’s done more work standing too so he might have more confidence standing than Jimmy Fallon of Seth Myers did when they started.

  8. A. D. says:

    Ugh….can’t stand him.

  9. Sue Hale says:

    Not interested, not watching.

  10. Brendan says:

    I guess those #CancelColbert people got their wish after all. :(

  11. TinLV says:

    Reason enough not to watch… Is this the best they could come up with ?

  12. Dirtfarmer1 says:

    Poor choice!
    7 episodes tops

    • powerturtle90sdudemon says:

      So canceled in the middle of week 2 on a 5 year contract? Conan was given a better chance on the Tonight Show >_<

  13. Maggie says:

    I’m disappointed. Can’t stand him. Neil Patrick Harris would be sooooo much better.

  14. R. Taft says:

    That’s a clever way to get rid of enemies of the Republican Party. Colbert sold out.

  15. mime says:

    So people just comment without reading the article? Because that is what it looks like having viewed many comments